Column Inches #14 with ChiChi LaRue
by Tony Phillips
Red spots stream down casting long shadows into the many nooks and crannies of the nightclub. French fry lighting, I’ve heard it called, and it doesn’t stop. It seems like a swank joint, this Club Mezzanine, tucked into San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, but tonight it looks like a sleazy English muffin. Or maybe I’m just hungry.
Champagne buckets are stowed on a high shelf in the back. There’s no bottle service tonight, no $300 bottles of vodka making the rounds, but plenty of beer’s distributed. The long necks clink against chunky belt buckles. It’s as close as these guys come to dancing, even though the dance floor is packed.
Men are cruising each other heavy, its own dance: jeans, leather, skin and plenty of tattoos. Chests are hairy, heads are not. The minimal décor is complimented by lengths of chain link fence hung from the ceiling. One could do a mean West Side Story if the room wasn’t so heavy on Tonys, sleight on Marias.
Upstairs there’s another lounge, its backend strung with military net forming a maze. There’d probably be guys back there already, sucking and fucking, if the area wasn’t so blatantly labeled with a cardboard sign reading, “BACK ROOM.”
I see a porn star on the deck below: Manuel Torres, one of the many Raging Stallion exclusives that turned up for their party. The front of his button fly 501s is completely undone. His jeans are staying put courtesy leather suspenders and his thick manhood is stuffed down the yawning y-front. A silver cock ring catches the light. Cock cleavage is one of many fashion statements I’ll see this weekend.
This is, of course, Folsom Street Fair 2005. And the Raging Stallion party is just one of many events crowding the calendar of this eight day bacchanal in which 400,000 people from around the world cram into the short section of Folsom between 7th and 12th Streets in the run up to the last Sunday of September.
And at this party, anyway, the velvet-gloved, iron fist spinning records right ‘round belongs to none other than porn auteur ChiChi LaRue. Her long blonde mane, almost a Madison Avenue blowout, is held in place by silver raver goggles. She’s mixing Christina’s “Dirty” effortlessly with Lisa Marie Presley’s “Dirty Laundry” cover and Foreigner’s “Dirty White Boy.”
At one point, I realize she’s cutting right through the heavy air of testosterone with an all-girl, vocal heavy set that doesn’t let up for almost an hour. It’s like she’s daring us not to let a piece of Britney choreography fly. Before the gig, I had a chance to chat with porn’s Orson Wells to find out what her latest slash, that of DJ, was all about and wasn’t surprised to find it part of a master plan that includes a nightclub, resort and world domination.
“I’m not a circuit DJ,” ChiChi claims, enumerating party starters ranging from Joan Jett to Jessica Simpson, “I mix it all up and slam it all together.” And those influences stretch all the way back to New York. “I remembering going to Limelight and how much fun it was with Lady Bunny DJ-ing. She would play Prince and The Ramones, all this great stuff, and it was so great to watch her behind the turntable all dressed up and having a good time. And that’s what I do. I play the kind of music that I would like to hear in a club.”
And requests? “I hate requests,” she yells, practically jumping over her desk. “I want to play what I want to play. If someone comes up and says, “Play Britney Spears…” Well, I am going to play Britney Spears, so that’s an easy request to take. But if someone comes up and says, “Play The Cure…” Well, okay, first of all, I don’t want to play The Cure because that’s sad music and I’m not going to play that. I don’t have any Cure.”
What she does have, in addition to the usual items you’d expect to see littering the Minneapolis native’s LA office: the wall of nude Polaroids next to the desk, the box of Payless pumps that have just arrived, the Carlos doll, are other, more curious items. How about the picture of her and Tom Ford? “I can’t really talk about what we were doing,” she says, “because it’s coming out later in December.” She promises to tell me when we’re done, but doesn’t.
What she can say comes out in practically one sentence. “He is probably the most beautiful man. You fall back when he comes up to you because he’s so strikingly gorgeous. And so nice. He looks like a porn star. He looks like a hot, dirty, nasty porn star in a very fucking expensive suit dressed to the fucking nines.” I tell her Ford was once so insecure, his friends dubbed him “Mary, How’s My Hair?” She shoots back, “I don’t care if they call him ‘Mary, How’s My Pubes?’ He’s perfection in every way…and dirtily unshaven. Just fabulous.” Aside from the shaving, she could just as well be talking about herself.